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Pritzker stands behind his messaging, claims support for candidates

Monday, Feb 6, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Washington Post

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has seized on DeSantis’s latest culture-warring — Florida’s decision to ban an Advanced Placement course in African American studies — to articulate a contrasting vision for what topics should be permitted in classrooms. […]

In coming months, Pritzker will grow more vocal on this front, a source familiar with his thinking tells me. He will amplify the case that restricting classroom topics works against kids’ interests and risks stunting intellectual growth, and that a more open approach sharpens their arguments and thinking, making them more competitive in the quest for higher education.

Pritzker will also argue that Illinois prides itself on refraining from the kind of directives that seem designed to encourage school libraries to remove books to avoid running afoul of the law.

As the source told me, the message will be: “Illinois doesn’t ban books.”

* The governor was asked today at a business-related event: “How does [the above article] square with the focus on your next four years as governor here in Illinois versus these national controversies?”…

Well, I think broadcasting our values here in Illinois is good for the state of Illinois. That we are opposed to banning books in the state of Illinois is something that people ought to know about us. That we are not interfering with the education system in the state and the way that a teacher presents, you know, their information to their classroom, their kids, you know, that we are, we’re lifting up education, we’re not tearing it down. And other states are doing that. And I think that, whether we’re talking about businesses that are thinking about moving here, or people that are thinking about moving here, people are choosing not to go to those states where they’re restricting freedoms, and instead coming to Illinois where we’re protecting.

Please pardon all transcription errors.

* Asked if he was concerned about restrictions in Illinois…

I am. I think you see it in some of the school board candidates and library board candidates that are running, that, you know, there are organizations that are anti-LGBTQ, that are racist, they’re anti Muslim, that are supporting candidates for these local boards. And they’re trying to take over at a local level, and build up candidates at the local level that they can run, then run for the state legislature and for other offices. And we’ve seen some of them actually elevated to running for governor. So it’s important without naming names. And it is important, I think, for people to pay attention to it, for us to elevate it to you in the media and for us to talk about it. Because number one, it’s good for the state when people outside of Illinois hear about, and number two, when people in Illinois you know when they go to the voting booth, they may not be prepared to vote for candidates for school board or library board. And they need to be. They need to know that these people, some of the people who are running are actually part of these organizations trying to restrict freedoms.

* Told the Republicans are pushing candidates and asked whether the Democrats have a plan and are putting resources into the races…

We are supporting candidates that are standing up for freedom.

I’ve seen lots of Pritzker aldermanic endorsements, but not any in school board races. No money, either. And I don’t recall receiving anything from the state party on that specific topic.

Your thoughts on this?

…Adding… Meanwhile, the Illinois Policy Institute has a “Parents Union” group that is focusing on elections and has some real winners posting there


  1. - Education First - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 11:54 am:

    Big props for JB taking on the AWAKE crazies who are insidiously inserting themselves into local school board races. They are organizing and training. It is upon us to set the conversation. Keep at it, JB

  2. - Norseman - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 12:03 pm:

    === governor here in Illinois versus these national controversies ===

    This is an Illinois issue. As noted, the book banners and history white washers are working
    hard at bringing their bigotry and phony conspiracy theories to districts all around the state.

    Besides talking about it, JB needs to ensure the creation of a PAC to fight these crazies.

  3. - JoanP - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 12:11 pm:

    I like how the “Parents Union” claims to be all about transparency, but “Private: Only members can see who’s in the group and what they post.”

  4. - This - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 12:15 pm:

    DPI has never gotten out into the counties and regions to focus on grassroots politics, candidate recruitment and communications. When you have Chicago-heavy organizations, you tend to ignore those opportunities too often.
    Maybe the right-wingers focus locally will energize DPI.

  5. - Just Me 2 - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 12:20 pm:

    That post turns my stomach. Gross. And I fail to understand the recent obsession with drag shows. Mrs. Doubtfire would not approve.

  6. - ArchPundit - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 12:25 pm:

    ===This is an Illinois issue. As noted, the book banners and history white washers are working
    hard at bringing their bigotry and phony conspiracy theories to districts all around the state.

    Exactly, but worse than that, what AP decides for Florida, it decides for everyone. What happens in Florida and Texas (and California) affects how textbook publishers decide what goes in a book. Why is Reconstruction largely ignored in most US History textbooks? Look to the South where they won’t buy books that don’t treat Reconstruction as just a lot of Northern corruption or tries to deal seriously with the terrorism in the south.

  7. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 12:35 pm:

    “Pritzker will grow more vocal on this front”

    Good, leaders need to stand up for the most marginalized. By trying to obliterate their identities in schools, DeSantis and the “Christian values” people are trying to increase self harm of those already struggling to be accepted, among the most vulnerable.

  8. - cermak_rd - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 12:46 pm:

    Oh wow, I knew IPI was libertarian, I did not know they were stomach churning anti-gay/trans too. Gross.

    Which child is being forced to go to drag shows? My understanding is that parents choose to take them to events, which Awake is using threats of protests/violence to get cancelled because they don’t want to kids to be able to see it.

  9. - James - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 12:46 pm:

    The gun imagery is awful. The statements are not inaccurate.

  10. - Appears - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 12:48 pm:

    I posted this in another column today.
    Check out the Freedom Ticket in Quincy. It is a group of members for the public school board that has been endorsed by Mary Miller and Tom DeVore.
    Yes, the jokes write themselves.

  11. - Henry Francis - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 1:09 pm:

    I see the “Parents Union” is apparently for gun control. Good to know.

  12. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 1:09 pm:

    “The gun imagery is awful. The statements are not inaccurate.”

    Poor you. I’m sure that being expected to treat LGBTQ people as equal has taken something important away from you.

  13. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 1:11 pm:

    That Illinois Parents Union looks like a real upstanding group. These people and those like them are absolutely disgusting human beings.

  14. - Annonin' - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 1:15 pm:

    The gun image seems on target for IPI messaging. Speaking of DeSantis and other news gatherer shared this….Yes, a potential front-runner for the GOP nomination in 2024 co-sponsored what lots of conservatives love to paint as a fringe-right idea — a roughly 30 percent national sales tax that would also scrap the income tax and abolish the IRS (while also putting more work on other tax administration bodies)…Yup DeSantis was a co-sponsor.
    We think everyone agrees “Fair Tax” could be the worst label ever. But to apply it to a 30% rate it is zany. Good luck pushing this guy against Trumpster.

  15. - Dupage mom - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 1:19 pm:

    Illinois Policy is working on several suburban races

  16. - Arsenal - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 1:31 pm:

    ==Oh wow, I knew IPI was libertarian, I did not know they were stomach churning anti-gay/trans too. Gross.==

    Which means, of course, that they aren’t actually libertarian.

    ==The statements are not inaccurate.==

    Of course they are. For one thing, the bigoted bakers won.

  17. - JS Mill - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 1:36 pm:

    My only dispute with the governor revolves around this aspect of his statement…

    “That we are not interfering with the education system in the state and the way that a teacher presents, you know, their information to their classroom,”

    He is accurate based on current conditions, but HB 5188 (from the last ILGA)would have very much changed that and prescribed how schools and teachers would have talked about the subject. The bill died in the Senate, I assume it is coming back. It requires the adoption of the national standards on sex ed with no opt out.

    The governor is not wrong about desantis and the right wing and what they are doing. And he currently isn’t “interfering in the classroom”, but I think they are on the way. Different that the right wing, but interfering nonetheless.

  18. - H-W - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 2:11 pm:

    == Your thoughts on this? ==

    I think those communities where AWAKE-IL candidate win will produce less educated, less talented students. Students who lack a full understanding of history will not compete equally with students who are broadly educated.

    Parochialism is not an advantage in labor markets. It is a disadvantage.

    So to is racism, and sexism, and homophobia, and the undeniable irony of xenophobia.

    Such children will languish behind due to their parents foolishness, and become the next generation of racist, sexist, homophobic xenophobes.

    That is what I believe.

  19. - Amalia - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 2:31 pm:

    that Illinois Parents Union (so called) graphic with the rainbow gun is incendiary. they should be ashamed. it is not only a ridiculous list of claims but it is majorly dangerous.

  20. - Politix - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 2:43 pm:

    Aligns perfectly with the GOP’s “parents’ rights” agenda for 2024. It is truly insidious.

  21. - JS Mill - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 3:24 pm:

    @H-W is absolutely positively correct.

  22. - Blue Dog - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 4:02 pm:

    I have long gotten over the thought that because someone holds different beliefs than me that they are somehow intellectually inferior.

  23. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 4:17 pm:

    ==holds different beliefs than me that they are somehow intellectually inferior==

    Look at the picture for crying out loud. This isn’t about holding different beliefs. This is inexcusable. And, yes, exhibits an intellectually deficiency. Just stop.

  24. - Arsenal - Monday, Feb 6, 23 @ 4:37 pm:

    ==I have long gotten over the thought that because someone holds different beliefs than me that they are somehow intellectually inferior.==

    It was just a few months ago you said something like how there were no Democrats with common sense.

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